Rev. Al Sharpton made a call to action when he said we’ve turned Trayvon Martin’s tragic death from a moment into a movement.

The question now is, how do we stay motivated enough to do what it takes to change the “Stand Your Ground laws” in this country.  There are several answers and here are six:

1.  Remember the Moment: Trayvon was within his rights to be where he was and George Zimmerman had the right to follow him. Zimmerman was armed and not an officer of the law, but he was still able to start an altercation with the unarmed Trayvon and then shoot him in his heart.

2.  Follow the Money: The Stand Your Ground law is NRA-supported legislation designed to put more  guns in the hands of citizens. It is not a fair law  and it is not a necessary law.  The self-defense laws are much clearer and make more sense.

3.  It’s Not as Isolated as We Think:  Oscar Grant was another unarmed black male shot  and killed by a transit police officer in Oakland, Calif. The movie “Fruitvale Station” is based on the last day of his life.

4.   It Doesn’t Stop: Jordan Davis was an unarmed teen who was shot and killed by a citizen at a gas station in Florida for playing his music too loud.

5. It’s Not a Fair Law:  In a case where Stand Your Ground could have made sense, it backfired. Marissa Alexander was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot at a wall.  She was defending herself against an abusive husband.

6. Let’s Not Forget the Past: July 25, 2013 would have been Emmett Till’s 72nd birthday, if he had not been killed at the hands of a mob when he was 14 years old.

Through our vote, we have the power to change the Stand Your Ground laws and I can’t stress enough the importance of using that power in the 2014 mid-term elections.Some people are choosing to boycott the state of Florida, but what about the other 19 Stand Your Ground states? Will people stop doing business in those places as well?

Let’s consider what a boycott of Florida will do to the people, especially the black and brown working in the service industry. Think about how much money and jobs will be lost before we even get a chance to vote to repeal the law.  I realize a boycott can bring about change, but they work best when you’re actually boycotting the companies that are inflicting some type of injustice. Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World have nothing to do with Stand Your Ground, and while, yes, causing the state of Florida to lose millions of dollars will surely get the attention of its legislators, there are still millions of people who support Stand Your Ground.  With the help of the NRA and other wealthy supporters, a boycott could actually cause a backlash.

The last thing we need is a group of unemployed, frustrated, broke people in a state filled with people with a legal excuse to shoot first and ask questions later.

Boycott if you want to, but it won’t change the law and it will probably kill more people.

A better way would be to show up like crazy in November 2014 to support any candidate who is NOT supported by the NRA and to donate to their campaigns. Campaigns are won or lost because of money. He who raises the most wins. The NRA will out spend their opponents every time. Right now, there’s no anti-NRA lobby because there is no money to be made. WE can change that.

Let’s have a conversation about how we can keep the movement going in the right direction and not lose focus.

105 thoughts on “What Change Will Boycotting Bring? Change the Laws

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  4. {Still think I’m mental or overprotective}
    ABC NEWS: School Gunman Took Hostages, Car May Have Bombs

    KKK School Threat /Two knifes (Knifes don’t make a gun sound, but they kill)
    Children Withdrawn from School
    Need legal help!
    http://www.youcaring.com/help-a-neighbor/kkk-school-threat/81338

    Look at my beautiful children GOD blessed me with! We have to hold the School District accountable. We have to keep children safe.rjohnson4ob (at) gmail (dot) com

  5. ATTENTION EVERYONE COMMENTING IN THIS FORUM:
    I am so sure everyone has read Ms. Johnson’s plea for assistance in receiving justice and if so, please do your part by forwarding her messages to your local government officials.
    The more people who read her [two] messages, the more attention we will bring to this injustice.
    Thanks in advance!

    • Rayar Johnson on said:

      August 17,2013

      Thanks anyway Keeba! Welcome to our bubble (where you cry with a loud voice, but are ignored) in the world. For some reason my children are not important enough to the flies on the wall, those with a blind eye, or “aint nobody got time for that”, type of people. People pick and choose whom the think deserve JUSTICE. If one person more would give time to investigating and spreading the word of this hate crime and civil injustice. Take me, the black, depressed, praying, and begging mother out of the equation. Think of children’s rights, equal rights, ada rights, educational rights, and civil rights. You see violations, you assist. Advocate for my children and their civil rights, please.

      Thank You
      rjohnson4ob@gmail.com

      • Ms. Johnson,
        I apologize for not answering your reply but it has been a tad busy.
        I agree, it is not for just your children but for EVERYONE and their children, (OUR CHILDREN); rights for EVERYONE to be safe.
        I will send you an email.

      • All of us freely respond and share our opinions on these other stories, but will not say anything about yours.
        In my opinion, more people need to get the message out.

  6. Rayar Johnson on said:

    Open Letter To America:

    The girl in question, this is not the first time, I reported that she had a knife in school. The racial slurs has been suffered for years. The school found two knives and KKK drawings in February 2013 and now August 2013 she is at school and on the bus after they had promised she would not be back on school property.

    My oldest saying “sometimes I wish, I was dead.” She has written another letter after discovering the criminal is back. This letter does not mention the same statement, but my child says, “no one knows her pain and suffering from that Buckatunna School and she want Wayne County High School to be different and to have a good school year.” She still goes to outside counseling for over a year for her emotional and vulnerable low self-esteem from WCSD violations. All four of my children are in counseling due to school violations. It is important to know, we have bleeding knees and depression over these ongoing situations. All I can do is pray, report and take my children to counseling. My children these particular ones was sent by GOD for me to be their mother. Maybe no one else would have fell in love first sight. My babies are just as important to me as any other loving parent. I love my children more than anything or anyone. They deserve a equal chance like anybody else. I am forever dedicated to advocating for their safety.

    My public plea should indicated how many I have contacted over the years, begging for help, before my children are slaughtered like “Trayvon Martin.” Over the years, I have contacted the school and the WCSD Board, the Mississippi Department of Education, the local sheriff department, Mississippi State Officials, media stations,churches, including CNN, President Obama, FLOTUS, Oprah, Beyonce and other stars, Tom Joyner, Al Sharpton, Rainbow Push,NAACP, SPLC, ACLU, US Department of Education, USDOJ and many others. So, it seems that if none of this people or organizations will respond that I should have just shut up and give up. I have not saw the victory of, but, I believe everyone should have civil rights. I aim to teach my children that those with integrity still fight for JUSTICE. They must see mommy still asking and begging for help in faith that one day, some one will say this is wrong and I stand with you until it is corrected.

    See the other source will say, its been handled or we did it all by policy. They depend on the fact that their word comes over mine. The depend on no one making time to get involved. They depend on the evidence I collect to expire and is never examined. They depend on saying Let’s start fresh and move forward and put the past in the past. But, this is ongoing, this is child endangerment. This is the life of my children. Give me the opportunity to show evidence of lies and corruption and along with policy violations that can not be denied. Would anyone like to view my evidence? Does anyone have time for the truth? Does any one feel that my children have a right to the best rural education they can receive? Does anyone think it is safe to send my children back to school with no assurances of safety? Does anyone want to help? Does anyone feel they should keep ignoring my plea?

    Keeba thank you for your reply, hopefully you can get more citizens involved in a resolve for safety and JUSTICE for Four. Please forward to anyone who can help.

     Justice Seekers, please help.

    • Rayar Johnson
      I read your post early this morning and have been thinking about it ever since. (It is OBVIOUS you are doing everything in your power to bring attention to this VERY important matter.) I cannot get over the disgust, hurt, and anger!!!!! (I can only imagine the pain you are dealing with.) This is an injustice! It is TRULY a shame that those you mentioned have not done or said anything about this! …We need to call them out!
      I have forwarded your VERY IMPORTANT message, as well as posted it on Facebook, Twitter and other social outlets. I wish there was something I could do…but the only thing I can think of that I have not done is contacted my own local officials. I apologize, but will do so now.

      My prayers remain….this is painful to me. (I’m sorry for your pain.)
      Much love and prayers!

  7. Rayar Johnson on said:

    August 12,2013

    Please, Please Help us! In the February 14,2013 Wayne County Newspaper,( Front Page) It tells of the school violations and bullying and harassment my children have suffered in the WCSD,Mississippi. But, it did not mention that the latest of those threats were from the school KKK note. Now, this same girl where two knifes were found on her is back at school and sitting behind my child on their bus.
    This is not the first racial discrimination . My kids have a right to a safe school environment.
    The WCSD said they would handle it and they would prosecute and she would not be back on that campus. They would not tell me one court date no notification, just it’s been handled. 911 did not even send an officer at my request the day of.
    The children are shocked and scared. I beg for justice. I do not know why help for justice is so hard. They are not going back to school until they are represented. This is sad that anyone would think we are okay with this.

    • Rayar Johnson,
      I have read your posts here and on Twitter, and it is my hope and prayer that justice is served. In addition, we are praying for the safety of yours and other children.
      I must ask if you have contacted your local government officials regarding this VERY SERIOUS matter. I have only visited the South (at one time staying over a month) and I must say it was thee most unnerving experience ever. I do not have any advice, but if it were me – an avid voter – I would be legally stalking my local officials and causing a spectacle of myself while making a demand for my rights.
      Thanks for sharing your story, and I TRULY hope and pray that someone actually DOES something.
      Oh, have you contacted Sharpton and/or emailed Tom Joyner?…any of the other people with viable resources?

      • Rayar Johnson on said:

        Open Letter To America:

        The girl in question, this is not the first time, I reported that she had a knife in school. The racial slurs has been suffered for years. The school found two knives and KKK drawings in February 2013 and now August 2013 she is at school and on the bus after they had promised she would not be back on school property.
        My oldest saying “sometimes I wish, I was dead.” She has written another letter after discovering the criminal is back. This letter does not mention the same statement, but my child says, “no one knows her pain and suffering from that Buckatunna School and she want Wayne County High School to be different and to have a good school year.” She still goes to outside counseling for over a year for her emotional and vulnerable low self-esteem from WCSD violations. All four of my children are in counseling due to school violations. It is important to know, we have bleeding knees and depression over these ongoing situations. All I can do is pray, report and take my children to counseling. My children these particular ones was sent by GOD for me to be their mother. Maybe no one else would have fell in love first sight. My babies are just as important to me as any other loving parent. I love my children more than anything or anyone. They deserve a equal chance like anybody else. I am forever dedicated to advocating for their safety.

        My public plea should indicated how many I have contacted over the years, begging for help, before my children are slaughtered like “Trayvon Martin.” Over the years, I have contacted the school and the WCSD Board, the Mississippi Department of Education, the local sheriff department, Mississippi State Officials, media stations,churches, including CNN, President Obama, FLOTUS, Oprah, Beyonce and other stars, Tom Joyner, Al Sharpton, Rainbow Push,NAACP, SPLC, ACLU, US Department of Education, USDOJ and many others. So, it seems that if none of this people or organizations will respond that I should have just shut up and give up. I have not saw the victory of, but, I believe everyone should have civil rights. I aim to teach my children that those with integrity still fight for JUSTICE. They must see mommy still asking and begging for help in faith that one day, some one will say this is wrong and I stand with you until it is corrected.

        See the other source will say, its been handled or we did it all by policy. They depend on the fact that their word comes over mine. The depend on no one making time to get involved. They depend on the evidence I collect to expire and is never examined. They depend on saying Let’s start fresh and move forward and put the past in the past. But, this is ongoing, this is child endangerment. This is the life of my children. Give me the opportunity to show evidence of lies and corruption and along with policy violations that can not be denied. Would anyone like to view my evidence? Does anyone have time for the truth? Does any one feel that my children have a right to the best rural education they can receive? Does anyone think it is safe to send my children back to school with no assurances of safety? Does anyone want to help? Does anyone feel they should keep ignoring my plea?

        Keeba thank you for your reply, hopefully you can get more citizens involved in a resolve for safety and JUSTICE for Four. Please forward to anyone who can help.

  8. why is it just impossible for some people to consider the notion that the 6 jurors just MIGHT have had to render a not-guilty verdict because there was simply not enough evidence to convict him of murder, as opposed to self defense? Nobody really knows what happened that night. Our system of justice was not founded on a premise of putting people in jail because we “think” they’re guilty. How many black people have walked into convenient stores or gas stations and shot white people dead and then gotten away with it? thousands?

  9. Based on SOME of these comments, if I were Tom, I would NOT cancel anything! I do not care if he is rich and could afford it, if I were him I would NOT cancel, as it would not make anyone happy [no matter what]. Besides, Trayvon’s parents are neither for nor against a boycott.

  10. I will cross the “boycott line” when ever, how ever and where ever possible.Stand your ground is a great law and it will be defended (here in MI). Gov’ts stand it’s ground and so shall we law abiding citizens. So understand this, the battle has been joined.

  11. Kalonji on said:

    Really Tom? You know darn well boycotts and strikes have been and will continue to be effective tools for our progress. OK! You are in bed with Disney and FL. They must have really pushed your buttons to get you to come out publicly like this! I’m so disappointed. And I go through great lengths so I won’t miss your show daily. I think you just shouldn’t speak on this at all. Boycott’s are temporary. So if we get FL to change their laws and attitudes then we can continue to flock there for sun and fun. Personally, I’ve never been or had much interest in FL. When I took my three major vacations to date, I flew from NY over FL to PR. • IamAfro • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfJh6ZvlUMg&feature=youtu.be

  12. Brionna on said:

    I am all about fighting for justice but Zimmerman’s case was not won by the stand your ground defense. Before the trial even started the Zimmerman leagal team dropped the Stand Your Ground defense. The way the legal defense team won was by using Self Defense laws. We are boycotting and fighting over the wrong issue. Our self defense laws need to be revised. If Zimmerman would have used Stand Your Ground he would have loss. This is why he pleaded not guilty and said it was self defense. Maybe there is somewhat of a problem with stand your ground but that is not what got Zimmerman off. Also go and read the jury instructions so we can all understand how they came to this conclusion.

    • v.malik on said:

      At the end of the day, Trayvon got shot cause he dressed hood, he carried himself as a thug, by racial profiling he was a threat. At the end of the day, if we as adults to a community of aggressive unsupervised young black youth don’t look at the real issues, these youngsters will have a bleak future in life. We need to look after our own. We’ve been doing a terrible job of letting the streets raise our kids. Boycott that gangsta mentality and be the kings and queens we were meant to be.

      • Will Jackson on said:

        V.Mallik;

        You are a sick person and you need medication. Trayvon Martin was murdered. He was never acting like a thug. The boy was walking home in the rain, that is why he had a hoodie on. You most likely need prayer.

        W. Jackson

      • v.malik on said:

        do some homework and stop making excuse for twisted misguided kids will jackson. not saying that everyone in a hoodie is a thug but if you saw #nolimitnigga aka trayvon martins twitter account all he boasted of was being gangsta..getting a gun.. and belittling bitches. there were reasons he lost the case. he chose to beat down a man that happened to have a gun. use common sense as tom is in this post. change the law. and we ALL will need a prayer if we don’t stop making excuses and look to the root of our woes.

  13. reggie on said:

    Tom lets deal this the facts. Boycotting in Arizona resulted in the observation MLK birthday. Tom you grew up in the south and had a front row seat civil right movement. More specificly the Montgomery Bus boycott. Economic change the bus policy . Black were inconvience then, hurt and even killed. Black people were looking at the bigger picture then as the are doing now

  14. Some people are complaining about Sharpton. Has anyone else stepped up to the plate, and taken the helm?? At least Sharpton stays out front with (most) issues. I give him credit for that. One of the biggest issues I have with Sharpton, and other so called Black leaders is that they haven’t addressed Black on Black crime enough. Hundreds of brothers killing each other everyday, and until recently no Black pundits were talking about it. Finally,,,slowly (I think the CBC) is addressing the issue, and I think I heard that Sharpton is headed to Chicago to address the issue. The NAACP also needs to step up to the plate.

    • I agree! I did not always agree with Sharpton, but once he ran for president, – with a snowball’s chance of winning – I thought at least he stuck to the issues. In my opinion, his responses showed his concern for The People. Now of course, I do not always agree with him, but I do agree with you: HE MUST SAY AND DO MORE about Black on Black crime. In addition, I believe he needs to use his resources to do more in directing our at-risk youth.
      Additionally, I agree that we must do more to assist instead of complaining. Over the years, several well-known Blacks have taken a stab at some of our issues but we need to either support them, or as you said, take the helm.

  15. KVictor on said:

    actually Arizona caved when the NFL pulled their Super Bowl. If you really want to see injustice, you need to start with the Grand Cyclops of injustice, Texas. I totally agree with Tom. I will never, ever, spend another tourism dollar in the state of Florida. Hey Tom ! you need to create a event in the Bahamas that you can promote to all the Americans who refuse to spend money in Florida.

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